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[sik-uh-mawr, -mohr] /ˈsɪk əˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr/
Also called buttonwood. any of several North American plane trees, especially Platanus occidentalis, having shallowly lobed ovate leaves, globular seed heads, and wood valued as timber.
British. the sycamore maple.
a tree, Ficus sycomorus, of the Near East, related to the common fig, bearing an edible fruit.
Origin of sycamore
1300-50; Middle English sicomore < Old French < Latin sȳcomorus < Greek sȳkómoros, equivalent to sŷko(n) fig + mór(on) mulberry + -os noun suffix, apparently by folk etymology < Semitic; compare Hebrew shiqmāh sycamore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sycamore
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fruit of red gum is a bur, midway in appearance and size between the sycamore ball and the chestnut bur.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • I had not thought of beech or sycamore, but they are now sown.

  • Nest on a large limb of a sycamore, 30 feet above ground; made of weed fibres, etc., lined with hair and fine fibres.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • But she discovered a blaze on a sycamore beyond the cane and hurried forward.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • He's seen the light, and we've adjusted his end of the sycamore business; I'm taking part cash and notes with good collateral.

    Otherwise Phyllis Meredith Nicholson
  • This is usually cut from a piece of hard wood, sycamore or pear.

British Dictionary definitions for sycamore


a Eurasian maple tree, Acer pseudoplatanus, naturalized in Britain and North America, having five-lobed leaves, yellow flowers, and two-winged fruits
(US & Canadian) an American plane tree, Platanus occidentalis See plane tree
Also sycomore. a moraceous tree, Ficus sycomorus, of N Africa and W Asia, having an edible figlike fruit
Word Origin
C14: from Old French sicamor, from Latin sӯcomorus, from Greek sukomoros, from sukon fig + moron mulberry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sycamore

mid-14c., from Old French sicamor, from Latin sycomorus, from Greek sykomoros, from sykon "fig" + moron "mulberry." Or perhaps a folk-etymology for Hebrew shiqmah "mulberry." A Biblical word, originally used for a species of fig tree (Ficus sycomorus) common in Egypt, Syria, etc., whose leaves somewhat resemble those of the mulberry; applied from 1580s to Acer pseudoplatanus, a large species of European maple, and from 1814 to the North American shade tree that is also called buttonwood (Platanus occidentalis, introduced to Europe from Virginia 1637 by Filius Tradescant). Some writers have used the more Hellenic sycomore in reference to the Biblical tree for the sake of clarity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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